Why are the 55-mph signs flashing when there’s no roadwork? Roadshow

Q: I recently passed flashing 55-mph signs saying “road work ahead” on Highway 101 and Interstate 880. Then, no road work in sight. … Caltrans needs to stop their false warnings of a 55-mph speed limit for construction when there is no construction present. There are so many times when the 55-mph sign is flashing, yet there isn’t a construction worker or trucks for miles. This is not the exception. It is the rule and Caltrans has taught us to ignore the warnings.

They should “start over” by creating a warning sign with flashing lights that warn us the 55 mph is now active. Then they should partner with the CHP and have a few aggressive enforcement days.

Michael Quigley, Joseph Weinstein and more

A: This is a common complaint, but the 55-mph warning signs will remain because construction can occur at odd hours. Also, lanes can periodically be shifted to accommodate changes in traffic patterns. Better to be prepared for a possible slowdown is Caltrans’ attitude.

Here is the big reason for the 24-7 policy: It came after five workers died in construction zones in 2018.

Q: The stoplight where light rail crosses Bird Avenue often turns red when no train is passing. No railway lights blink and no barrier comes down. Why is the light functioning like this?

David Cohen, San Jose

A: Blame COVID-19. This location on Bird has a pedestrian crossing. Back in the spring, the city automated pedestrian signals throughout downtown so people would not have to touch the signal buttons during the pandemic. The pedestrian signals continue to automatically cycle through, which means opposing traffic gets a red light.

Q: Interstate 280 south from El Monte Road to Foothill Expressway is a mess with garbage in the median and on the sides of the road. I swim and coach at Fremont Hills and drive through here every day.

Lesley Reid, Los Altos

A: And a check back …

Q: I just drove 280 north and it looks a lot better. They must have been cleaning while I was typing, or you worked your magic.

Lesley Reid

A: The magic came from Caltrans. More cleanups are planned.

Q: With all of the negative publicity about San Jose not keeping our roads up, I want to give the city a shoutout for a job well done. I live in the Cambrian area. The city renovated our old streets over the past three weeks, digging them down, smoothing them out and resurfacing them with a smooth, clean coat of asphalt.

The streets came out looking great. Job well done and many well-deserved kudos!

Paul Cunningham, San Jose

A: Kudos and smooth streets are always welcomed.

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Author: Gary Richards